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Thread: Foremilk/hindmilk Imbalance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ft Lauderdale, FL

    Default Foremilk/hindmilk Imbalance

    Hi. My daughter is 6 weeks old. At the beginning of breast feeding, I noticed she preferred my right breast over the left. It took some work to get her to latch properly on the left. We worked that out, then she would choke during letdown (forceful letdown I'm assuming). Now I've noticed she sometimes has explosive diapers, lots of gas, and is extremely fussy. I recently pumped both breasts simultaneously and realized my left breast was producing a lot of foremilk, but I also noticed the milk flows much more slowly. How do I correct this? My daughter is so miserable after she nurses from my left breast. I've read about pumping a little before feedings, but she isn't on a solid schedule yet for me to know when she's going to be hungry.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Foremilk/hindmilk Imbalance

    Hi congratulations on your new baby. In the vast majority of cases, so-called foremilk/milk hindmilk "imbalance" is one of the biggest non-issues in breast-feeding there is. Many moms drive themselves crazy over this concern which is really not an issue at all in most cases.
    If you have forceful letdown, overproduction, or some combination of the two, it is possible that baby gets an over abundance of foremilk at a feeding. What does this mean? In a worst-case scenario, it could cause a baby to refuse to nurse, or to clamp down and hurt their mother while they are nursing, because the force is too much for them. Other possible effects are unusual gassiness or fussiness in the infant. But it is important to remember that baby's this age are very typically gassy and fussy. Frequent, watery and Explosive poops are not all that abnormal around this age, which is typically when breastmilk production is at its peak.

    pumping is entirely different than breast-feeding. Just because the flow appeared slow to you when you pumped does not mean it is slow for your infant. Also just because your milk appears thin or watery when you look at it in a bottle or bag, does not mean that you have an issue with too much fore milk. Normal breastmilk varies in appearance.
    I would suggest you read the article at www.Kellymom.com about forceful letdown. If you think after reading that article that forceful letdown is causing problems for you, or for your baby, then my suggestion would be to nurse as frequently as possible, while allowing baby to nurse one side at a time if that is what baby prefers. This is one of the quickest and easiest and least invasive fixes for this issue.
    The other easy simple and noninvasive fix is to nurse in a leaning back or laid-back position.
    Time usually alleviates overproduction and forceful letdown. So if this is part of what is going on that should fix on its own overtime. What can make it worse is pumping when pumping would not ordinarily be needed. Basically there are three reasons to pump. One you're separated from baby and need to pump your milk due to the separation. Two you are not making enough milk overall, Amd need to increase your milk production. Three you are becoming engorged, baby won't nurse and there is no other way such as hand expression to get the milk out. Also of course if the baby is not able to nurse for some reason, pumping would be needed to maintain normal milk production.
    Expressing milk by pump before nursing is one way some mothers find to alleviate forceful letdown. However be aware it may cause more difficulties than it fixes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Foremilk/hindmilk Imbalance

    What LLLMeg said.

    I'm curious about what you mean when you say your baby "isn't on a solid schedule yet". Are you trying to get her on a schedule? And if so, what does the schedule consist of?

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